My friend Monica used to say that she thought day lilies were such tragic flowers, blooming as they do for just one day. All that glory for one perfect day and thereafter a wizening into a lifeless dot, that eventually will be nudged off the stem by another thrusting star.
Here at The Warren I’ve been enjoying a series of blooming day lilies, sometimes as many as twelve at a time and still they bud. It’s been a spectacular summer so far in England, and I’ve spent hours in the garden, gazing at a vista that changes from day to day. Margery says my garden is just like me; a combination of jungle and Zen. This summer it’s been more Zen and this morning while the world was reving up for another week at work, it was raining, so I made myself a mug of frothy coffee and climbed back in my princess bed, with Tottie in hot pursuit, to finish The Ever Present Origin by Jean Gebser, which my regular readers will know I’ve been working my way through all summer. I had finished it by mid- day. The joys of retirement are legion I can tell you and I’m so glad that I have a small pension and my own manageable home. A Room of One’s Own indeed and all by luck rather than judgement, given my eclectic career pattern.
I have been so happy with Gebser this past few weeks. He’s been almost everything I need in a man; good looking & interesting being the first two criteria( the third, which sadly cannot be met, would be that he adores me). But hey two out of three isn’t bad. And interesting is putting it mildly. I would go so far as to say that this book ,which remember was first published in 1949, says a lot more about the transformation that is taking place all around us, than most of the books being published today. It succeeds by basing everything on a strong historial foundation and extrapolating from there. Gebser sees things from afar and puts value and weight on the way things eventually turned out. In this he was something of a prophet. He forcasts what happens to the discoveries of the atomic world for example and how eventually they would lead to the atomisation (ie fragmentation) of meaning and value in modern, materialistic life. It’s been a long time coming the transition he speaks about and it hasn’t happened yet but it’s getting close. A few more tsunamis and another man- made ecological disaster and we’re there.
So where is ‘there’? There is the construction of a new reality, where we reside in origin, which means our present is protected and sustained by life and the spirit. Where the time for discursive, measuring thinking is past. Where we see beyond the parts into the whole. Where everything of itself is complete and wonderful. Where we realise that the whole is too big for temporal/spatial understanding and ALL exists for the sake of the whole.
In the words of Chuang Tzu,” The meaning is obscured if one sees only tiny, finished segments of being”.
Gebser all those years ago helped to set in motion the understanding that is even at this moment opening up to us. He didn’t of course have anything to say about crop circles but reading this book helps to set them in the cultural landscape. They are a discovery and we should approach them with awe, not mental/rationality. We need to read them with spirit rather than with intellect; accept them with love rather than skepicism; see them with transparency. Learn from them how to see with a new mind. Then we will live intensely like day lilies and truly become the meaning of the words;-
“I have chosen you before the earth began.”